Asthma is a persistent respiratory ailment characterized by airway inflammation and constriction, leading to impaired breathing. It often results in wheezing, coughing, chest constriction, and breathlessness.

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Asthma symptoms can vary from mild to severe and may change over time. Triggers for asthma symptoms can also differ among individuals and may include allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander, respiratory infections, cold air, exercise, smoke, strong odors, and more. Typically, the diagnosis of asthma involves a combination of reviewing the medical history, conducting a physical examination, and performing lung function tests.

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These tests play a crucial role in assessing the severity and type of asthma. Once diagnosed, asthma is manageable with the proper treatment. Common treatments include inhalers, bronchodilators to open the airways, or anti-inflammatory medications to reduce airway inflammation.

What are the symptoms of Asthma?

Asthma symptoms differ from one individual to another. Some people may experience occasional asthma episodes, while others might have symptoms exclusively during specific occasions, such as when engaging in physical activity, or endure constant symptoms.

There are a few signs and symptoms that may include:

  • Breathlessness
  • Constriction or discomfort in the chest
  • Wheezing upon exhalation is often observed in children with Asthma
  • Sleep disturbances due to breathlessness, coughing, or wheezing
  • Coughing or wheezing episodes exacerbated by respiratory infections like colds or the flu.
What causes Asthma?

There is a specific factor that presents a higher risk of Asthma.


Having allergies raises the risk of developing Asthma.


Exposure to various irritants, such as allergens, toxins, fumes, and second- or third-hand smoke, can lead to the development of Asthma in individuals. This is particularly concerning for infants and young children, as their immune systems are still maturing and can be more vulnerable to the harmful effects of these substances.


Asthma can happen if someone has a history of Asthma in the family and has a higher risk of developing the disease.

Respiratory infections

Certain infections, such as respiratory syncytial virus, can damage the developing lungs in children.

Types of Asthma


This form of Asthma is characterized by sporadic episodes, allowing you to experience periods of normalcy between asthma flare-ups.


Persistent Asthma indicates the presence of symptoms over a substantial duration, with symptom severity ranging from mild to severe. Healthcare providers evaluate the seriousness of Asthma by considering how often symptoms occur and how they impact your daily life during an asthma episode.


Certain individuals may experience asthma attacks triggered by allergies, with allergens such as molds, pollens, and pet dander being common culprits.


Asthma can also be exacerbated by external factors unrelated to allergies, such as exercise, stress, illness, and weather conditions.


This is the type of Asthma which starts at the age of 18.


This type of Asthma frequently occurs before the age of 5 and can manifest in infants and toddlers. Many children may eventually outgrow this condition.

Exercise-induced Asthma

This form of Asthma is prompted by physical activity and is also called exercise-induced bronchospasm.

Occupational Asthma

Occupational Asthma primarily affects individuals working in environments with irritating substances, leading to asthma symptoms.

Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS)

ACOS occurs when an individual experiences both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), both of which contribute to breathing difficulties.

Severe Asthma

Severe Asthma is a condition that is challenging to manage and may not respond well to standard asthma treatments. It often requires more intensive therapy and close medical monitoring.

Brittle Asthma

Brittle Asthma is a rare and severe subtype characterized by unpredictable and sudden exacerbations, making it difficult to control. Patients with brittle Asthma are prone to frequent and severe asthma attacks.

Cough variant asthma

Cough-variant Asthma is characterized by a persistent cough as the primary symptom instead of the more common wheezing or shortness of breath. Multiple factors can trigger this ongoing cough.

Aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease

Aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) is a condition in which patients with Asthma, nasal polyps, and respiratory symptoms experience severe reactions to aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It often requires specialized management.

Eosinophilic Asthma

Eosinophilic Asthma is characterized by high levels of eosinophils (white blood cells) in the airways. It often leads to increased airway inflammation and can be associated with more severe asthma symptoms.

What are asthma triggers?


  • Pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander (from cats, dogs, or other animals)
  • Mold spores
  • Cockroach droppings

Respiratory Infections

  • Respiratory infections, such as the common cold or flu, can worsen asthma symptoms.


  • Tobacco smoke
  • Strong odors or fumes from chemicals, perfumes, or cleaning products
  • Air pollution
  • Wood smoke
  • Strong emotions or stress

Weather Conditions

  • Cold air
  • Hot, humid weather
  • Changes in temperature or weather patterns
  • Thunderstorms (associated with increased pollen levels)


  • Exercise-induced Asthma occurs during physical activity or sports.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

  • Stomach acid flowing into the esophagus and potentially into the airways can trigger asthma symptoms.


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can worsen symptoms in some individuals with Asthma.
  • Beta-blockers, a type of medication used for conditions like high blood pressure and heart problems, can also trigger asthma symptoms.

Occupational Exposures

  • Working in specific industries may be exposed to irritants or allergens that exacerbate Asthma. This is known as occupational Asthma.

Food Allergies

  • Some individuals with Asthma may have food allergies that trigger symptoms, though this is less common.

Preventing Asthma requires making lifestyle choices and environmental adjustments to lower the risk of developing the condition or to mitigate its impact on those who are already diagnosed. Avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, reducing allergen exposure, promoting breastfeeding, ensuring immunizations are up-to-date, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and managing conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are vital preventive strategies.

Creating a clean indoor air environment, allergen-proof bedding, and taking precautions against occupational Asthma can also help. Regular check-ups and medication compliance for those with Asthma, along with stress management, are essential components of prevention. While it may not be possible to prevent Asthma in all cases, these measures can significantly reduce the risk and enhance the management of the condition for those affected. Seeking guidance from a healthcare provider is essential for customizing preventive strategies to suit individual requirements.

When to see the doctors?

Worsening Symptoms: If your asthma symptoms are getting worse or not responding to your prescribed medications, consult your doctor

Frequent Rescue Inhaler Use: Using your quick-relief inhaler more than twice a week may indicate poorly controlled Asthma and should prompt a doctor's visit.

Nighttime Symptoms: If asthma symptoms wake you up at night, it's a sign of poorly controlled Asthma and requires medical attention.

Asthma Attacks: In case of a severe asthma attack characterized by painful breathing difficulties and little relief from your quick-relief inhaler, it is imperative to seek emergency medical assistance promptly.

How can Ayurveda help?

Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to asthma prevention through several key strategies. It begins with understanding one's dosha constitution, comprising Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, to recommend personalized dietary and lifestyle adjustments that help maintain balance and prevent imbalances that may contribute to Asthma. Ayurvedic nutritional recommendations focus on pacifying or avoiding dosha-aggravating foods to reduce inflammation and allergic responses associated with Asthma.

Herbal remedies, such as turmeric, ginger, and holy basil, with their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, can enhance respiratory health and lower asthma risk. Breathing techniques, like Pranayama, play a significant role in improving lung function and promoting better breathing.

Periodic detoxification, stress management practices, meditation and mindfulness, and the soothing effects of aromatherapy with essential oils can also contribute to asthma prevention. While Ayurveda can complement overall well-being, it should be integrated with conventional medical care, especially for those already diagnosed with Asthma, under the guidance of healthcare providers for a comprehensive asthma management plan.